5 Steps to a Flawless Consultation
Sometimes walk-ins are nervous to be meeting a new stylist. They’ve been assigned to you, and about to hand over their crowning glory–their hair. They don’t know you, or your work. You may be equally nervous, after all- their heads may be getting cut, but you’re on the proverbial chopping block if you mess up.
Take a deep breath.
After your client has gotten into their robe, invite them to your chair and make them feel comfortable. Offer them a glass of water, wine, whatever beverage your salon has to offer before beginning. Ask them questions- who referred them? How did they hear about your salon? These are easy icebreakers and also important information for you as this will tell you how business if being directed to your chair.
People cannot always articulate what they want to say accurately. Simplify the question “What do you wanna do to your hair” into more direct questions–
” What don’t you like about your hair? What DO you like about it?
What is your routine in the morning? How much time do you spend on your hair? These questions will give you an inside look at how your client lives their life. If their expectations aren’t realistic, jump to step 4 and advise them to reassess.
The more questions you ask, the less likely you are to misinterpret and give them something they didn’t want. When someone asks for long layers, for instance, a good question to ask is “Where would you like your layers to start? ” or “How short would you like your shortest layer to be?” If they are looking to swap their side-swept bangs for an edgier straight-across look; don’t be over zealous and hack them off. Ask them if the bangs should start below or above their eyebrows, as this will greatly affect the end result.
Uphold the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
As a hairdresser, you play a key role in the psychology of another human being. You directly affect how people see themselves and how they feel. People often get their hair done when they need to see change, as well as just routine maintenance. In reality, it’s just hair- but your client is relying on you to make them feel better about themselves.
Your client might be self conscious about their unsightly dandruff, psoriasis, hair-loss, or previous bad haircut. (Also, it is bad form to criticize someones prior haircut, or the work of your fellow stylists when someone is in your chair.)
So please, don’t take liberties. After all, a client pays for the hair left ON their head, not the amount of hair that’s swept into a pile on the floor.
Clients want your opinion! After all, you’re the expert! If you think the cut or color they want does not fit their lifestyle, face shape, or hair texture- advise them to try something that does. It’s important to explain to them WHY. If your round-faced client wants a chin length bob, explain that the length of that cut may not be appropriate for them; perhaps they’d like to try a slightly longer bob shape. (For those who want to know: Spacial relationships are important when deciding on a hairstyle. A short, round cut on an already round face will only make the persons face appear wider and rounder.)
So don’t be afraid to let your clients know what you know!
Once you have decided on a cut or color, confirm what you’ve decided on with your client by saying it back to them. This will ensure that there are no misunderstandings and that you are both clear on what will be happening while they are in your chair.